Donald Trump on Wednesday laid out for the first time how he will reform the U.S. health care system after repeatedly pledging to “repeal and replace Obamacare with something much better.”
Trump published a seven-point health care reform plan that calls for repealing Obamacare, breaking down state barriers that prevent the sale of health insurance across state lines and making individuals’ health insurance premium payments fully tax deductible.
The reforms, which Trump calls “simply a place to start,” are aimed at broadening access to health care, making health care more affordable and improving the quality of care, according to the plan published on Trump’s campaign website.
Trump also called in his health care plan for eliminating the individual mandate, which under Obamacare requires all Americans to have health insurance and which Trump suggested he was in favor of less than two weeks ago.
“I like the mandate. Here’s where I’m a little bit different. I don’t want people dying in the streets,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on February 20 during a televised town hall event.
Trump has taken fire from his fellow Republicans for suggesting that “everybody’s got to be covered” and that “the government’s gonna pay for it” as he said in a September interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” — a proclamation his rivals have tried to use against Trump to suggest he is in favor of government-run health care.
Trump’s plan Wednesday, though, makes no mention of Trump’s calls for every American to be insured, even if the government has to pick up the tab.
Instead, Trump’s plan rests on more conservative ideas, like converting Medicaid into a block-grant program that would aim to “eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.”
And while Trump has pledged to ensure that Americans who cannot afford health insurance will be covered — in part by the government cutting “deals” with hospitals across the country — Trump’s health care plan does not touch on those ideas, instead suggesting that Trump will “reduce the number of individuals needing access to programs like Medicaid.”
“The best social program has always been a job — and taking care of our economy will go a long way towards reducing our dependence on public health programs,” Trump writes in the plan.
Trump also links his health care proposals to his immigration proposals, which have long been the cornerstone of his presidential campaign.
“If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country, we could relieve health care cost pressures on state and local governments,” Trump proposes in his plan.
Trump’s health care plan also calls for requiring “price transparency” to allow patients to “shop and find the best prices” for their medical care and removing the barriers to entry that currently make it more difficult for cheaper drugs from overseas to enter the American health care market.